In a world where plastic waste is a global concern, George Nuku’s installation challenges us to look at plastic in a new light - practical, harmful, beautiful.
Manawa Moana presents a supersized manifestation of global consciousness about the proliferation of plastic in the ocean and in our everyday life. The giant manawa (heart) represents our ‘feeling about plastic’, the giant roro (brain) represents our ‘thinking about plastic’ and ngākaunui (big heart) represents ‘engaging our hearts and minds’ to find the solution.
Manawa Moana encourages us to experience plastic as a taonga - a beautiful and precious substance, derived from Papatūānuku (Mother Earth) after a million-year process that transforms ancient marine life into crude oil. We are reminded plastic itself is not evil. Rather, our own failure to value this extraordinary substance - our insistence on overproduction, our willingness to discard after minimal use – lies at the heart of the problem.
Manawa Moana will involve the mass mobilisation and participation of people regardless of age and background to contribute to the sourcing of used plastic bottles and the creation of the supersized artwork to be displayed at the War Memorial Theatre.
“George holds a rare perspective on plastic, which turns prevailing attitudes entirely upside down.” – The New Zealand Herald.